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Newsletter | December 11, 2023

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Norman Lear high school yearbook photo, 1940.

Trivia question

Norman Lear, the pioneering television writer and producer who died last week at age 101, was born in New Haven but grew up mostly in Hartford, graduating in 1940 from one of the city’s public high schools. Which one?

a)   Bulkeley High School

b)   Hartford Public High School

c)    Weaver High School

For the answer, see the end of this newsletter.


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* Requires paid subscription, usually after a certain number of free articles.

Events calendar

Thursday, February 22, 2024

“Celebrating Hartford Public Library’s 250th Anniversary,” 5:30 to 7 p.m., 500 Main Street. “Light refreshments, live music and a celebratory toast in the Center for Contemporary Culture, Downtown Library. Please join us!” More information

If you’d like to add your event, send the “who, what, when, and where” to Kevin@HartfordHistory.net.

Trivia question answer

C) Weaver High School, when it was still located on Ridgefield Street, in what is now the Martin Luther King Middle School (pictured.) From an article on Weaver that ran in the Hartford Courant’s Northeast Magazine in 1986:

Norman Lear (class of '40) was a "very lower-middle class" Jewish boy living on Woodstock Street when he first walked into Weaver. “We were always broke,” recalls Lear, now a successful television producer in Los Angeles whose creations include All In The Family, Maude, and The Jeffersons. “I can't say that I remember my parents taking a lot of interest in my schooling, but I do remember a particular teacher there, Melvin Crowell, who I think had the greatest influence on me. Somehow he convinced me that I could write.” With Crowell's prodding, Lear became the gossip columnist for the school newspaper, a member of the debating club, and a writer for the drama society. An unflinching punster and dauntless figure in his houndstooth jacket and greased-back black hair, Lear became such a popular student that classmates nicknamed him “King.” His outgoing manner and talent for public speaking also won him Hartford County's American Legion oratorical contest in 1940 and a college scholarship.

Source: Hartford Courant, July 20, 1986, Page 176 (Northeast Magazine) via Newspapers.com: accessed December 10, 2023.

More trivia questions at HartfordHistory.net

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